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Old July 3 2009, 06:26 AM   #98
Cary L. Brown
Rear Admiral
Location: Austin, Texas
Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Saquist wrote: View Post
CTM wrote: View Post
Saquist wrote: View Post
How big is this file sofar?
Just over 98MB
That's massive.
My Enigma Surface Model Design is 7.6 MB. I thought that was large.

The Solid Model of the ship is going slow is at 2 MB an that's only 90% of one Nacelle.
Well, the more complex you allow your forms to be, and the more detail you incorporate, the more demanding on a system the dataset becomes.

For comparison, the file for the secondary hull of my "enterprise" (that is, everything "south of the dorsal dividing line, including nacelles) is currently in a Pro/ENGINEER file which is 274,664 KB. And my primary hull is 261,882 KB. Basically, the model I've got now would take up nearly an entire CD. (That's the DISADVANTAGE of CAD, of the sort I use... it's tremendously more accurate but it's not exactly "efficient" in file-size terms). And it's not remotely "done" yet...

Every time I load mine, it regenerates the file... which is, for all practical purposes, a text-based programming language file. The end result is geometry, but the model itself is something else entirely.

Now, for AutoCAD, it's really designed as a 2D program, with a few (fairly limited) 3D "extensions" in the mix. Basically, what CTM here is doing is creating 2D shapes and attaching them, not creating "solids" per-se. That's why it's difficult (using AutoCAD) to do stuff like the shape of the dorsal.

Doing basic modeling, of the sort you might do with Lightwave or Maya or 3DSMax of Rhino or Blender or whatever, is quite a bit simpler on the surface... you're either creating simple polygons, or a fairly limited set of NURBS patches, really. Polygons are VERY simple (three sets of three dimensions, plus a "normal," for each polygon or each vertex). NURBS patches are more complex (three or four 3D bezier splines, plus tangency controls along at each "isoparm" point on each spline) but still a lot simpler than "real geometry" of the sort that high-end CAD packages do.

What CTM is doing here would be child's play (from a toolkit perspective) with a more modern piece of software and more modern hardware. Of course, that doesn't belittle his work at all, since (like with EVERY tool) the result is more a matter of the thought that goes into it. You can't just "hit the button and have it appear" (no matter how often TNG-era Trek told us so!)

I know about the limitations of budget... but considering what CTM's accomplished with this particular set of "stone knives and bear skins," I'd love to see what he could do with something a bit more capable!
I have so many equestions CTM. I know your time is partitioned but how did you make these curvatures. CAD is so restrictive. I've only just figured out the Loft Command which stranglely enough makes these cross-sections much easier.
I'm pretty sure that AutoCAD, and in particular these early revs, didn't have any "surface" tools like loft or birail sweep or anything like that. Am I mistaken?

Those tools are tremendously powerful for certain things... I recently upgraded my personal license of Pro/E just so I could incorporate an additional module which gives me those capabilities (something not included in the base package). I know that you have something similar in AutoDesk Inventor, and of course both Maya and 3DSMax have it, but AutoCAD? I'd be pretty surprised. AutoDesk doesn't target AutoCAD at that market.
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